The Paedophile Pandemic.
posted on Friday, 19 March 2010 @ 11:09 | permalinkOkay, quick one as I have lots to do this evening but saw this news story on a forum I visit, and found it interesting. You can read the full article here, but the general gist of the story is that Facebook are being pressured to place a 'paedophile panic button' on their site, for children who suspect the person they are talking to could be part of society's current most-witch hunted creatures - the paedophile.
The recent death of teenager Ashleigh Hall, who, for those who don't know, was killed by someone she thought was a good-looking teenage boy who she met on Facebook, has thrust the paedo-panic gripping the nation back into the media circus scaremongering spotlight. Although a tragic incident, Facebook alone cannot be blamed for the teenager's death.
Instead of focusing on the paedophiles themselves, society needs to focus on educating young people. I myself have met people I discovered through the internet, some which have developed into great friendships. Instead of simply demonizing all internet users as possible paedophiles, measures should be taken to inform children and young people on how to meet internet friends SAFELY. Speaking on the telephone, seeing the person on webcam or using Skype, and meeting in a busy public place and taking a friend along, for example. Common sense is the order of the day here - something our excessively PC current situation completely brushes aside.
Facebook itself cannot be blamed for this incident - if she had any suspicion of the person she was speaking to not being who he said he was, she shouldn't have gone to meet him. And if, seemingly, she didn't suspect anything, it wouldn't have even crossed her mind to use a 'paedophile panic button'.
We live in a society where children are no longer allowed the innocent pleasure of sitting on Santa's knee at Christmas, where a teacher is unable to give a crying child a comforting hug without fear of persecution. The notion of 'PAEDOPHILE!' is something that hangs heavily over childhood innocence - and in a reverse effect to the intended, it can actually be detrimental to this innocence.
Edit: Edited to spell paedophile correctly. It's been a long day...